Double Feature Friday: Outlander and Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus

Two films, one trying to spin a new twist in the unstoppable alien monster comes to wreck havoc and destruction everywhere and only one brave warrior, his crazy cohorts and some bad ass fight scenes can end the carnage movie and the other aspiring to become the actual visual definition for Direct-to-DVD.

Damn, this movie was some good popcorn munching fun. How it does it without actually having a memorable monster, the main character having an extremely limited emotional range, and the fact that I thought almost every other scene I was viewing was liberally borrowed from every sci-fi/action film I’ve seen in the last two decades is really beyond me.

The plot involves an alien warrior names Kainan, played by James Caviezel, who crash lands in the middle of Viking territory unknowingly bringing a fierce killer monster with him. The Vikings find Kainan, the Outlander, and subsequently all blame him for the destruction the creature has brought but everyone including the Viking King (played with gusto by John Hurt), his daughter Freya, the heir apparent ultra-prime-alpha male Wulfric, the council of warriors, and an (almost) mute boy all grow to love and respect Kainan cuz that’s what happens in these movies.

I felt like I was watching clips of Planet of the Apes, Rambo, Aliens, Pitch Black, The Edge, Pathfinder, The Last of the Mohicans, King Kong (1976), The A-Team, Waterworld, The 13th Warrior, Braveheart, The Road Warrior, Beowulf and (thanks to a character named Boromir) The Lord of the Rings all rolled into one. And anytime I saw Caviezel getting tied up and wooped, I, of course, thought of The Passion of the Christ, except when he was emoting and then I thought of (insert a movie where Christian Bale plays the hero and is trying to be a badass and tender dude at the same moment).

The film almost gives up any chance of being good when the warriors gather in the hall and welcome Kainan into their brood by having him proves his worth by challenging Prince Wulfric in a fierce round of shield dancing. Luckily, Ron Perlman comes in at this moment to do what he does best: wear makeup and kick monster ass with two iron hammers. Ok, not so much on the hammers part but you know Perlman can elevate almost any sci-fi film.

A nice plot twist (that as far as I know the writers did not steal from any previous sci-fi action film) emerges to make the Outlander just that more interesting so we can care what happens to him as he goes on what may be a suicide run to save the Princess, the Kingdom and get back his manhood (end sequence liberally borrowed from just about every macho flick ever made).

Outlander tried real hard and delivered in all the right place with just enough scares, blood and testosterone to keep me happy. A high recommendation for rental but don’t hold your breath for Outlander 2.

Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus
If you saw the YouTube trailer, you’ve seen it all. This movie is bad. Not Jackass bad, not Scary Movie bad, not the trailer to Australia bad, this film doesn’t even try to be any good. Sunny already has posted his thoughts and he’s right on with the fact that only Lorenzo Lamas (who now looks more like a guy trying to bag chicks by claiming to be Lorenzo Lamas) is fully embracing what could have been an Ed Wood like classic. Other plus: Deborah Gibson gives it her all and actually makes the movie semi-watchable cuz at least I can start singing “Only In My Dreams” and “Shake Your Love” whenever she has a bad line.

On the writing, if you read the Wiki entry for megaldon (aka Giant Shark) you’ve already read the almost word-for-word exposition from one of the movie scientists.

Barb’s thoughts on this new low point in America cinema and Lorenzo Lamas are here.

Recommendation: I would only buy this DVD with someone else’s money and would only see it again to punish my eyes. Put it to you like this, if it was between this movie and Kanye West’s new book, I would choose neither.

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  1. Still totally pissed off about this Boromir. I mean, come on now! They didn't even try to give this character a Viking name.

  2. I'm with you on this one, they should have given him a name like Legolas or Samwise. You know, something truly original and Norse.

  3. BTW, did you see that I strategically placed my signed copy of Kanye's book by the toilet? I can't believe both of you missed it!

  4. I can't believe I missed it. Must borrow it for next time so I can write a full review or use it to help some birds make a nest.

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